Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society Consensus Guidelines on the management of community-acquired pneumonia in adults

Lionel A. Mandell*, Richard G. Wunderink, Antonio Anzueto, John G. Bartlett, G. Douglas Campbell, Nathan C. Dean, Scott F. Dowell, Thomas M. File, Daniel M. Musher, Michael S. Niederman, Antonio Torres, Cynthia G. Whitney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4109 Scopus citations

Abstract

Improving the care of adult patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has been the focus of many different organizations, and several have developed guidelines for management of CAP. Two of the most widely referenced are those of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS). In response to confusion regarding differences between their respective guidelines, the IDSA and the ATS convened a joint committee to develop a unified CAP guideline document. The guidelines are intended primarily for use by emergency medicine physicians, hospitalists, and primary care practitioners; however, the extensive literature evaluation suggests that they are also an appropriate starting point for consultation by specialists. Substantial overlap exists among the patients whom these guidelines address and those discussed in the recently published guidelines for health care-associated pneumonia (HCAP). Pneumonia in nonambulatory residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities epidemiologically mirrors hospital-acquired pneumonia and should be treated according to the HCAP guidelines. However, certain other patients whose conditions are included in the designation of HCAP are better served by management in accordance with CAP guidelines with concern for specific pathogens. Implementation of Guideline Recommendations 1. Locally adapted guidelines should be implemented to improve process of care variables and relevant clinical outcomes. (Strong recommendation; level I evidence.) Enthusiasm for developing these guidelines derives, in large part, from evidence that previous CAP guidelines have led to improvement in clinically relevant outcomes. Consistently beneficial effects in clinically relevant parameters (listed in table 3) followed the introduction of a comprehensive protocol (including a combination of components from table 2) that increased compliance with published guidelines. The first recommendation, therefore, is that CAP management guidelines be locally adapted and implemented. Documented benefits. 2. CAP guidelines should address a comprehensive set of elements in the process of care rather than a single element in isolation. (Strong recommendation; level III evidence.) 3. Development of local CAP guidelines should be directed toward improvement in specific and clinically relevant outcomes. (Moderate recommendation; level III evidence.) Site-of-Care Decisions Almost all of the major decisions regarding management of CAP, including diagnostic and treatment issues, revolve around the initial assessment of severity. Site-of-care decisions (e.g., hospital vs. outpatient, intensive care unit [ICU] vs. general ward) are important areas for improvement in CAP management. Hospital admission decision. 4. Severity-of-illness scores, such as the CURB-65 criteria (confusion, uremia, respiratory rate, low blood pressure, age 65 years or greater), or prognostic models, such as the Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI), can be used to identify patients with CAP who may be candidates for outpatient treatment. (Strong recommendation; level I evidence.) 5. Objective criteria or scores should always be supplemented with physician determination of subjective factors, including the ability to safely and reliably take oral medication and the availability of outpatient support resources. (Strong recommendation; level II evidence.) 6. For patients with CURB-65 scores ≥2, more-intensive treatment-that is, hospitalization or, where appropriate and available, intensive in-home health care services-is usually warranted. (Moderate recommendation; level III evidence.) Physicians often admit patients to the hospital who could be well managed as outpatients and who would generally prefer to be treated as outpatients. Objective scores, such as the CURB-65 score or the PSI, can assist in identifying patients who may be appropriate for outpatient care, but the use of such scores must be tempered by the physician's determination of additional critical factors, including the ability to safely and reliably take oral medication and the availability of outpatient support resources. ICU admission decision. 7. Direct admission to an ICU is required for patients with septic shock requiring vasopressors or with acute respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation. (Strong recommendation; level II evidence.) 8. Direct admission to an ICU or high-level monitoring unit is recommended for patients with 3 of the minor criteria for severe CAP listed in table 4. (Moderate recommendation; level II evidence.) In some studies, a significant percentage of patients with CAP are transferred to the ICU in the first 24-48 h after hospitalization. Mortality and morbidity among these patients appears to be greater than those among patients admitted directly to the ICU. Conversely, ICU resources are often overstretched in many institutions, and the admission of patients with CAP who would not directly benefit from ICU care is also problematic. Unfortunately, none of the published criteria for severe CAP adequately distinguishes these patients from those for whom ICU admission is necessary. In the present set of guidelines, a new set of criteria has been developed on the basis of data on individual risks, although the previous ATS criteria format is retained. In addition to the 2 major criteria (need for mechanical ventilation and septic shock), an expanded set of minor criteria (respiratory rate, >30 breaths/min; arterial oxygen pressure/fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2) ratio, <250; multilobar infiltrates; confusion; blood urea nitrogen level, >20 mg/dL; leukopenia resulting from infection; thrombocytopenia; hypothermia; or hypotension requiring aggressive fluid resuscitation) is proposed (table 4). The presence of at least 3 of these criteria suggests the need for ICU care but will require prospective validation. Diagnostic Testing 9. In addition to a constellation of suggestive clinical features, a demonstrable infiltrate by chest radiograph or other imaging technique, with or without supporting microbiological data, is required for the diagnosis of pneumonia. (Moderate recommendation; level III evidence.) Recommended diagnostic tests for etiology. 10. Patients with CAP should be investigated for specific pathogens that would significantly alter standard (empirical) management decisions, when the presence of such pathogens is suspected on the basis of clinical and epidemiologic clues. (Strong recommendation; level II evidence.) Recommendations for diagnostic testing remain controversial. The overall low yield and infrequent positive impact on clinical care argue against the routine use of common tests, such as blood and sputum cultures. Conversely, these cultures may have a major impact on the care of an individual patient and are important for epidemiologic reasons, including the antibiotic susceptibility patterns used to develop treatment guidelines. A list of clinical indications for more extensive diagnostic testing (table 5) was, therefore, developed, primarily on the basis of 2 criteria: (1) when the result is likely to change individual antibiotic management and (2) when the test is likely to have the highest yield. 11. Routine diagnostic tests to identify an etiologic diagnosis are optional for outpatients with CAP. (Moderate recommendation; level III evidence.) 12. Pretreatment blood samples for culture and an expectorated sputum sample for stain and culture (in patients with a productive cough) should be obtained from hospitalized patients with the clinical indications listed in table 5 but are optional for patients without these conditions. (Moderate recommendation; level I evidence.) 13. Pretreatment Gram stain and culture of expectorated sputum should be performed only if a good-quality specimen can be obtained and quality performance measures for collection, transport, and processin g of samples can be met. (Moderate recommendation; level II evidence.) 14. Patients with severe CAP, as defined above, should at least have blood samples drawn for culture, urinary antigen tests for Legionella pneumophila and Streptococcus pneumoniae performed, and expectorated sputum samples collected for culture. For intubated patients, an endotracheal aspirate sample should be obtained. (Moderate recommendation; level II evidence.) The most clear-cut indication for extensive diagnostic testing is in the critically ill CAP patient. Such patients should at least have blood drawn for culture and an endotracheal aspirate obtained if they are intubated; consideration should be given to more extensive testing, including urinary antigen tests for L. pneumophila and S. pneumoniae and Gram stain and culture of expectorated sputum in nonintubated patients. For inpatients without the clinical indications listed in table 5, diagnostic testing is optional (but should not be considered wrong).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S27-S72
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume44
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Mandell, L. A., Wunderink, R. G., Anzueto, A., Bartlett, J. G., Campbell, G. D., Dean, N. C., Dowell, S. F., File, T. M., Musher, D. M., Niederman, M. S., Torres, A., & Whitney, C. G. (2007). Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society Consensus Guidelines on the management of community-acquired pneumonia in adults. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 44(SUPPL. 2), S27-S72. https://doi.org/10.1086/511159